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CAL: Caribbean countries need to help with restoration

Published: 
Monday, September 18, 2017
Representatives of Caribbean Airlines off-load relief supplies in St Maarten on Saturday. PICTURE CARRIBEAN AIRLINE

Caribbean countries need to pull together and help with the rebuilding and restoration of all the Caribbean islands that would have suffered tremendous loss during Hurricane Irma.

This was the call made by Caribbean Airlines (CAL), Head of Corporate Communications, Dionne Ligoure.

Speaking with the T&T Guardian on Saturday after the airline executed a relief and support effort to have 46 Caricom nationals, including Trinidadians evacuate from ravaged hurricane island, St Maarten. About 39 Jamaican nationals were also evacuated and landed in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday morning from St Maarten.

“No pictures or feeds or videos could have prepared anyone for what we saw today (Saturday). In all my time, it was one of the most fulfilling and humbling experiences of my career,” Ligoure said.

“You saw where in a matter of days people’s entire lives were changed. The opportunity here is that we now have a chance to pull together as a Caricom nation and help each other rebuild. This is a tremendous human-interest story. Yes, St Maarten is getting tremendous support from the Dutch and French armies but we have the opportunity to rally around the Caricom and the West Indies to ensure that the islands are rebuilt and restored and people’s lives return to a degree of normalcy,” she added.

Having had that corporate support from Dianne Hadad of Tobago, Dasani, RBC, Boeing, AerCap and the National Petroleum, CAL was able to execute a well-organised relief and support effort on Saturday.

“To all the other businesses who partnered with Caribbean Airlines in providing essential supplies to the people that need it the most...we thank you,” Ligoure said.

She also made special commendation to CAL’s team in St Maarten for their resilience. She said, “This could not have been anything easy. When they opened that door today (Saturday) and welcomed us to St Maarten there were smiles on their faces because they understood the human spirit.”

“CAL understand its role in connecting Caribbean people and serving this region,” she added.